Who can be held responsible when a rogue actor directs payment from a company’s bank account? Unless discovered quickly, stolen funds are usually quickly spirited away from easy recovery. Victims of fraud therefore look for other sources of compensation, including the bank itself who executed the instruction. In England, when banks and financial institutions have reasonable grounds to believe that a payment instruction is an attempt to misappropriate a customer’s funds, they owe a duty of care to that customer to refrain from making or executing the order and make necessary inquiries before proceeding.
The Second Circuit recently held that a denial of a motion to dismiss a criminal indictment based on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) is immediately appealable under the collateral-order doctrine but concluded that even if FSIA did provide immunity from criminal prosecutions, that immunity would not extend to a foreign sovereign’s or its instrumentality’s commercial activities.